Sweden Wanted to Bomb Afghanistan to 'Market' Its JAS Gripen Fighter Jets: Wikileaks Disclosure

Sweden's Armed Forces suggested bombing Afghanistan to increase the 'marketability' of their fighter jets, according to a classified letter revealed by Wikileaks.

According to a Wikileaks cable, Sweden's Armed Forces has publicly suggested sending JAS Gripen fighter aircraft to Afghanistan. The Swedish military lobbied for the deployment, arguing that possible combat experience would be good for the Air Force -- and enhance the marketability of the Gripen.

Wikileaks has published a confidential cable by the US Ambassador to Sweden, Robert Silverman, to the NATO forces in Afghanistan asking them to urge Sweden to contribute more to the US-led war against Taliban in Afghanistan.

Wikileaks disclosure
Screenshot of the Wikileaks disclosure Twitter

"Sweden makes a substantial contribution to ISAF efforts in Afghanistan, leading the PRT in Mazar-e-Sharif with 365 Swedish troops. Noting shortfalls in ISAF contributions from NATO allies (ref A), we should ask the Swedes, the leading NATO Partner for Cooperation, what additional contributions they may be able to make in Afghanistan," the Wikileaks cable said.

Sweden Has Other Potential Assets for Afghanistan

In the classified letter, the US Ambassador had asked NATO to pressure Sweden into providing additional manpower and resources, possibly including medevac helicopters, JAS Gripen fighters, and Operational Mentor and Liaison (OMLT) teams. He further suggests that Sweden could possibly deploy its other potential assets such as newly acquired HKP 10 Super Puma Medevac Helicopter or JAS Gripen fighters in Afghanistan.

JAS gripen
Sweden wanted to advertise their JAS gripen fighter jets by bombing Afghanistan. Twitter

The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a light single-engine multirole fighter aircraft manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab AB.

The Swedish Armed Forces Terminate the Mission in Afghanistan

Sweden has been contributing its soldiers to Nato-led operations in Afghanistan since the end of 2001. The overall objective concerning the Swedish contribution has been to contribute to the Afghan defence and security forces' capability to handle security independently in the country. Sweden's contribution in Afghanistan included an advisory team, personnel to multinational forces, medical staff, air cargo soldiers and a support unit.

Sweden completed its full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in May 2021. Troops of FS 40 unit landed at Sweden's Jönköping airport on May 25 and were then transferred to their home regiment, Göta Engineers.

Social Media Slams Sweden for Its 'Hypocrisy'

Netizens believe that these so called "humanitarian western countries" needs to be exposed. One internet user wrote, "Sweden another western country that always talk about human rights. Hypocrisy at its best." Another said, "I didn't expect Sweden to be this warmongery."

One comment read, "To 'market' your fighter jets by killing thousands if not millions of innocents? With this in mind, Sweden as a whole should just market it on their own population, at the end of the day it's your marketing, right?"

Another comment read, "I can't believe it. Those who blame others as "barbaric" are suggesting to bomb Afghanistan to test their weapons. Who's barbaric?"